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Toyota Etios Liva is a true blue no-nonsense hatchback

November 14, 2018 18:49 IST
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The car we're driving today is the most affordable Toyota in India, the Etios Liva and we tell you if you should consider it if you're in the market looking for a hatchback or look at the other obvious options.

Toyota's cars are known worldwide for their quality, durability and most importantly, reliability.

In the Indian context, this is one of those brands that is trusted blindly by the taxi fleet operators.


The car we're driving today is the most affordable Toyota in India, the Etios Liva and we tell you if you should consider it if you're in the market looking for a hatchback or look at the other obvious options.

The design of the Etios Liva has been the same since its was first launched in 2010.

To start off, the footprint is compact but the design does look bland, especially when compared against its rivals.

The front fascia gets a heavily sculpted bumper with chrome surrounds for the fog lamps.

The halogen headlights look modest and there are no projectors or LED DRLs on offer which makes us wonder is it really 2018?

Nonetheless, the side profile is where things start getting interesting courtesy the large window glass and the gunmetal finished 15-inch alloy wheels while there isn't to talk about the rear, looks boxy though.

Coming to the cabin of the Etios Liva, it is just like the exterior, boring and bland! However, the beige treatment ensures that no occupant feels claustrophobic.

The instrument cluster has been positioned above the centre console in a weird fashion and taking your eyes off the road every time to check for the speed or the fuel level isn't a good idea.

The 3-spoke steering wheel is nice to hold and gets buttons for the audio controls.

Our test car wasn't specced with a touchscreen infotainment system and instead came with a basic audio system with average audio quality.

In terms of features, you get a manual AC, keyless entry (but no keyless go) and electrically adjustable ORVMs.

In terms of cabin space, the Toyota Etios Liva is spacious.

Both the front and rear seats offer generous comfort and support.

The rear has decent legroom and headroom but under-thigh support is lacking.

The rear bench also misses out on an armrest but unlike the pre-facelifted model gets adjustable headrests.

The 251-litres boot space isn't large and the humps of the wheel wells do eat into the tad bit of the limited space on offer.

The Etios Liva diesel draws its motivation from a 1.4-litre D4D engine that produces 68 PS of power and 170 Nm of torque.

When compared to its rivals, the power and torque figures are less and out on the roads you do feel this motor could have done with a little more power.

Nonetheless, power delivery is linear and though it does struggle in the lower end of the power band, the true highlight of this diesel powertrain is its mid-range.

That said, there's not enough grunt in the top end and this could be a huge downer if you are someone who does occasional interstate highway trips.

NVH levels aren't that great and in triple digit speeds you do hear a lot of wind and tyre noise.

Refinement levels certainly could have been better because the powerplant does get vocal at higher revs.

The 1.4-litre oil-burner comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard (there's no option of an automatic, no AMT either) which offers slick and smooth shifts.

In the city roads, the gearbox feels at home but take it to the open roads and you do have to work a lot with the gears.

However, the diesel engine is frugal and won't actually burn your pockets.

The Japanese carmaker claims a fuel efficiency of 23.59 km/l but expect a mileage of around 14-18 km/l in the real-world conditions.

The Etios Liva is a lightweight car and that definitely is a plus point going for it. Though the ride quality is brilliant, there is some amount of body roll due to the softer suspension setup.

The steering despite feeling light doesn't weigh up well at highway speeds and lacks feel and feedback whatsoever.

The 185-section rubber offers good grip while the brakes too offer good stopping power.

In terms of safety, the Etios Liva has scored 4-star and 3-star ratings in the Global NCAP ratings for adult and child occupancy respectively thereby proving its safety prowess.

You get dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and ISOFIX child seat mounts as standard across the range.

Toyota's after-sales network is well spread out across the country and the quality of service leaves no room for complaints.

The Etios Liva makes for a good family car. It's a true blue no-nonsense hatchback.

Yes, it might not turn heads on the move, it might not be feature-loaded, it might not impress you with its modest and quirky-looking cabin but what it does grant you is the peace of mind, reliability and durability that we have to come to associate with the Toyota brand.

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